Homemade Red and Green Mexican Sauce Recipes For Tacos

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Our Mexican Sauce Recipes for Tacos are a game-changer for any taco lover!

Whether for a weeknight family meal or a festive gathering with friends, our zesty green sauce made with just five ingredients and our rich, smoky red sauce packed with herbs and spices will elevate your tacos to the next level!

While you may prefer to skip to the recipe card, we suggest reading the entire blog post to avoid missing valuable tips and substitution suggestions and to ensure you have the necessary ingredients, equipment, and understanding of the steps and timings.

Don’t have time for these recipes now? Tap the heart icon in the bottom right of the screen to save it for later.

Bowls of green and red taco sauce with other taco toppings in the background. Text overlay says Delicious and Spicy Red & Green Taco Sauces

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Mexican Sauce Recipes

Sauces and condiments are a great way to customize our food; if you love Mexican cuisine, you’ve undoubtedly added extra flavor with a delicious sauce or two when dining at your favorite Mexican restaurant!

Really good authentic Mexican restaurants are not as common in the UK as in the United States, so I’ve had to learn how to recreate my family’s favorite Mexican dishes at home.​

From salsa recipes like Tomatillo Salsa Verde (using produce grown in our garden!) and Spicy Mexican Salsa (also known as salsa roja), which are perfect for dipping tortilla chips, to main dishes like Carne AsadaPozole Rojo de Pollo, and Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork).​

Then there are delicious sides like creamy GuacamoleMexican Rice, and Mexican Street Corn, desserts like Buñuelos and Mexican Sweet Corn Cake, and, of course, Margaritas! 

But back to the red and green sauces—we’re giving you two different recipes in one post!

The green taco sauce consists of jalapenos (green chile peppers), garlic cloves, white onion, salt, and oil. It takes around 20 minutes to prepare but needs an hour to chill in the refrigerator for all the flavors to meld.  

The red sauce is a Mexican tomato sauce made with fresh, not canned tomatoes, cilantro, and more jalapeños. It also adds ground ancho chiles, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and other herbs and spices you’ll find at a grocery store. This vibrant sauce also needs an hour of chill time.

These table sauces are featured on our Street Taco Charcuterie Board (coming soon!), complementing the taco fillings: Tacos Al Pastor, Mexican Chicken Adobo, and Taco Carne Asada

How To Make Red and Green Mexican Sauces

If you want the quick printable recipe card, scroll to the bottom of this post to print it out. But for all the tips, keep reading!

Number of Servings: 10
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 35 minutes | Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Step 1 – Gather Your Ingredients

This recipe’s ingredients and tools are conveniently linked to online retailers like Amazon, Amazon Fresh, Instacart, and Walmart.

  • Fresh IngredientsRoma Tomatoes (Plum Tomatoes), Cilantro (Fresh Coriander), Jalapeños, Garlic, Onion, Lime
  • PantryVegetable Oil, Salt
  • Ground Ancho Chili Pepper is a spice made from dried poblano peppers. It offers a sweet, smoky flavor with mild to medium heat and is essential in many Mexican dishes.
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Ground Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Mexican Oregano is surprisingly not the same as Mediterranean oregano as they are from different plants. The Mexican variety adds different flavor notes to dishes, notably floral, citrus, and anise. If you can’t source Mexican oregano, you could use Marjoram instead. You can read more about the difference here.
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper

The complete list of ingredients with measurements is on the recipe card at the end of this post.

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Step 2 – Kitchen Tools

The Purple Pumpkin Blog uses both cups and weighted measurements in its recipes, making American cups and kitchen food scales valuable tools for trying all the recipes. We provide US customary, imperial, and metric measurements. Still, it’s important to note that while you can combine cup measurements with weighted measures, never mix US customary/imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.) with metric (kilograms, grams, liters, etc.).

Next Steps…

  • Step 3—Cook Jalapeños for the Green Sauce: Place the jalapeños into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to medium heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until the jalapeños are tender. Remove the jalapeños from the pan and remove the stems. Set aside.
    • TIP! For a less spicy sauce, deseed the jalapenos before simmering and/or blending.
  • Step 4—Blend Green Sauce: Place the cooked jalapeños into a blender or food processor with the remaining green sauce ingredients. Blend on high until fully combined.
  • Step 5—Chill Green Sauce: Transfer the green sauce to a bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
  • Step 6—Blend Red Sauce: Place the tomatoes, cilantro, onions, jalapeños, garlic, and lime juice into a food processor or blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  • Step 7—Cook Red Sauce: Add oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the red sauce mixture and remaining red sauce ingredients to the pan. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes before reducing heat to low and cooking for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Step 8—Chill Red Sauce: Transfer the red sauce to a bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
  • Step 9—Serve Sauces: Serve the red and green sauces with tortilla chips or tacos. Enjoy!

Storing Leftovers & Freezing

  • Storing Leftovers:
    • Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
  • Freezing Instructions:
    • Pour into a freezer-safe container or bag.
    • Label with the dish’s name, thawing/reheating instructions, and the date to keep track of your food storage.
    • Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
    • Place it in the fridge to thaw overnight (or at least 12 hours).
  • With all leftovers, ensure the food looks and smells okay before consuming.
  • You can always consult the Food Standards Agency in your country for the most up-to-date advice on storing and freezing foods: Food Standards Agency (UK) | Food Safety (USA).

Printable Mexican Sauce Recipes Card

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Bowls of red and green taco sauce with other taco toppings in the background.

Red and Green Mexican Sauces

Michelle Ordever
Looking for delicious Mexican sauce recipes for your tacos? Try these easy homemade red and green Mexican sauce recipes. The green sauce perfectly blends jalapeños and garlic, while the red sauce features tomatoes and ancho chili pepper for a rich, deep flavor.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Sauces
Cuisine Mexican/Tex-Mex
Servings 10
Calories 86 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For Green Sauce

  • 4-5 jalapeños deseeded (optional) and stems removed
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup diced white onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

For Red Sauce

  • 2 lbs fresh Roma tomatoes (plum tomatoes), diced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)
  • 2 jalapeños deseeded (optional) and stems removed
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground ancho chili pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions
 

  • To make the green sauce, place the jalapeños into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to medium heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until the jalapeños are tender. Remove the jalapeños from the pan and set them aside.
  • Place the cooked jalapeños into a blender or food processor with the remaining green sauce ingredients. Blend on high until fully combined.
  • Transfer the green sauce to a bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
  • To make the red sauce, place the tomatoes, cilantro, onions, jalapeños, garlic, and lime juice into a food processor or blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  • Add oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the blended red sauce mixture and the remaining red sauce ingredients to the pan. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes before reducing heat to low and cooking for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Transfer the red sauce to a bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
  • Serve the red and green sauces with tacos or tortilla chips. Enjoy!
    Bowls of red and green taco sauce with other taco toppings in the background.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 153mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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Dinner Party Menu Suggestions

You’ve made the sauces, but what about other courses? Here are additional recipes to create a menu for a dinner party or special meal:

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